Joshi writes to LS Speaker on ministers attacking CAG, PAC

PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has written a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar requesting her to ensure that the authority of PAC and CAG are not impinged upon by ministers.

New Delhi: PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi
has written a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar
requesting her to ensure that the authority of PAC and CAG are
not impinged upon by ministers.

Referring to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal`s recent
outburst against CAG report, Joshi said the Telecom Ministry
was given ample time to respond on the findings of the CAG and
questioned the timing of the attack when the report has
already been tabled in Parliament, sources said.

Joshi said since the Speaker is the competent authority
to guide the Public Accounts Committee, she should ensure that
no such "impropriety" on party of the ministry recurs.

He said such comments will have a serious impact on the
health of democracy and if a confrontation between CAG/PAC and
the ministry is allowed to develop, then the days of "healthy
democracy" are numbered.

Joshi also wondered whether Sibal`s statement had the
permission and consent of the Prime Minister.

The BJP leader had after the last meeting of PAC on
January 12 said, "The sense of the committee was that Sibal`s
remarks were improper, against propriety and an attack on the
dignity of PAC and CAG."

The Telecom Minister had termed as "utterly erroneous and
without any basis" the estimated presumptive loss arrived at
by the CAG on account of allocation of 2G spectrum to telecom
operators.

The Supreme Court today also pulled up Sibal for making
statements undermining the CAG report on the 2G scam and asked
him to behave with some sense of responsibility.

"It is unfortunate. The minister should behave with some
sense of responsibility," a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and
AK Ganguly said.

It directed the CBI to go ahead with the probe into the
scam without getting influenced by anybody`s statement. The
CAG has estimated a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the
exchequer in allocation of 2G spectrum during the tenure of
former Telecom Minister A Raja.

"In our opinion, the CBI which is conducting
investigation into the 2G scam is expected to carry out the
probe without being influenced by the statement made by
anybody, anywhere, including the press," the bench said.

PTI

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